Friday, 19 January 2018

RSAF50: Aerial displays, heartland exhibitions to mark the Republic of Singapore Air Forces' 50th birthday

Aerial flypast to take place on National Day weekend; celebrations in heartland include static aircraft displays
By Lim Min Zhang, The Straits Times, 18 Jan 2018

An aerial flypast of more than 20 aircraft over the Marina Bay area during the National Day weekend will be one of the key events for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF), which is marking its 50th anniversary this year.

Other events include another aerial display featuring one F-15SG and two F-16C fighter jets at the Singapore Airshow next month, heartland exhibitions across the island between March and May, and a commemorative parade with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as the guest of honour on Sept 1.

The RSAF50@Marina Barrage event will take place during the Aug 11 to 12 National Day Parade weekend, and the flypast will include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the first time. All types of flying assets - fighters, helicopters, UAVs and transport aircraft - will be represented.

There will also be an aerial display performance by a formation of two AH-64D attack helicopters, and F-15SG and F-16 fighter aircraft.

The air force will also be taking the celebrations to three new heartland locations this year - Bedok, Sembawang and Punggol. This is in addition to two locations - Toa Payoh and Jurong East - where the RSAF also had heartland activities to mark its 45th anniversary. The heartland exhibitions this year will each last for two days over a weekend.

Other than exhibition panels and static aircraft displays, another first will be live demonstrations at each event, such as a display of helicopter operations at the Sembawang event from March 31 to April 1.

The events were announced by Brigadier-General Kelvin Khong, who chairs the RSAF50 steering committee, during a media briefing at the Air Force Museum in Paya Lebar yesterday.

Explaining the theme of the celebration, BG Khong, 41, who is also the Chief-of-Staff (Air Staff), said: "The air force is here defending Singapore, but more than that, we are here for Singaporeans. That is why we have designed our themes to be 'Our Home, Above All'."

Details of the flypast manoeuvres and other event highlights will be revealed in months to come, he added.

The RSAF began as the Singapore Air Defence Command in 1968, and was formally inaugurated as the RSAF on April 1, 1975.

"What we have achieved so far is possible only with the dedication and commitment of every one of us. Looking forward to the future, we want to inspire the next generation to continue this legacy," said BG Khong.

Celebration line-up
The Straits Times, 18 Jan 2018

• Feb 7: Official launch of RSAF50 celebrations by President Halimah Yacob at the Singapore Airshow, where she will unveil an RSAF50-themed F-15SG

• Feb 6 to 11: Aerial display featuring two F-16s and one F-15SG fighter jet performing aerobatic manoeuvres

• March 10 to 11: RSAF50@ Toa Payoh

• March 31 to April 1: RSAF50@ Sembawang

• April 14 to 15: RSAF50@ Punggol

• May 12 to 13: RSAF50@ Bedok

• May 26 to 27: RSAF50@ Jurong East

• Aug 11 to 12: RSAF50@ Marina Barrage, with an aerial flypast of more than 20 RSAF flying assets, and aerial displays by the F-15SG and F-16 fighter jets and AH-64D attack helicopters.

• Sept 1: Parade with march past and mobile column, and featuring the new Multi-Role Tanker Transport. The guest of honour will be Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

* Singapore Airshow 2018: RSAF flypast kicks off year-long golden jubilee celebrations
RSAF takes to the skies to celebrate golden jubilee
By Lim Min Zhang, The Straits Times, 8 Feb 2018

Three F-15SG fighter jets soared through the skies in a flypast over Changi yesterday, kicking off the air force's golden jubilee celebrations this year.

At the launch ceremony at the Singapore Airshow, another F-15SG, part of the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) current fighter fleet, was unveiled in the 50th anniversary celebration paint scheme of blue and white, with the RSAF50 logo. The logo's numeral "50", in the shape of the infinity symbol over the Singapore skyline, is meant to represent how there are no limits to how far the RSAF can go with the continued support of Singaporeans.

The flypast was witnessed by President Halimah Yacob and senior military officials, including past air force chiefs. She said in her keynote address: "Together with the army and navy, the RSAF has safeguarded Singapore's sovereignty and provided the stability for Singapore to progress and grow.

"Indeed, Singapore's status as a vibrant air and trade hub today is founded upon the security provided by a strong defence force."

Madam Halimah also launched a commemorative RSAF50 mural. When completed, it will feature a montage of 50,000 photos from Singaporeans during RSAF50 celebratory events throughout the year.

She said that in the case of the RSAF, the challenge in Singapore's early years to build a credible force was even more acute, as the country's limited geography meant airborne threats could arrive at short notice. "In order to keep our skies safe, the RSAF must have early warning capabilities and the ability to counter any threats from the air, round the clock, day and night."

Others at the ceremony included Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung, Chief of Defence Force Perry Lim and foreign dignitaries, some of whom were representatives of countries the RSAF has trained in.

Referring to support from friendly air forces over the years, Chief of Air Force Mervyn Tan said: "Our countries remain vulnerable to terrorist threats, such as the 9/11-style attacks. And with an increasing volume of air traffic, this close collaboration between our air forces will be even more critical today to ensure the safety of our skies and the prosperity of all our nations."

The air force was formed in September 1968 as the Singapore Air Defence Command. Back then, it had only two Cessna aircraft for basic flight training. It was formally inaugurated as the RSAF on April 1, 1975.

Events lined up this year include heartland exhibitions and a flypast over Marina Barrage on National Day Parade weekend. All types of RSAF flying assets will be represented in the flypast. The celebration will culminate in the RSAF50 Parade on Sept 1, to be attended by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

Paying tribute to the air force's pioneers, Major-General Tan said: "They swiftly inducted and operationalised capabilities to defend our skies. They also had a keen eye for the future, building a lasting culture of excellence and robust systems.

"Their vision and spirit continue to inspire the men and women of our air force today."

RSAF Marks 50 Years of Safeguarding Singapore's Skies

RSAF50@Marina Barrage: Republic of Singapore Air Force to Celebrate 50th Anniversary with Aerial Displays over National Day weekend on 11 and 12 Aug 2018

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